Whiteside comes up big for Heat in win
BOSTON — Hassan Whiteside was hardly shocked when Miami coach Erik Spoelstra designed a play for him late in the third quarter of a tight game.
He was surprised when Spoelstra kept doing it, though.
Whiteside scored half of his 20 points during a dominant stretch spanning the third and fourth quarters and Miami Heat held off the Boston Celtics 83-73 on Sunday to snap a two-game slide.
"He drew up a play and I scored on it, he just kept drawing them up," said Whiteside, who went 10-for-17 from the field. "I really think he started believing I can make plays down there."
Whiteside also had nine rebounds and blocked three shots, while Chris Bosh added 18 points and Tyler Johnson had 13, helping overcome the absences of Dwyane Wade and Luol Deng.
Wade missed his second game in a row with a strained right hamstring, while Deng sat out his third straight with a strained calf. Wade, who injured himself in Tuesday's loss to Milwaukee, is averaging 21.4 points and 5.4 assists per game.
Whiteside is more than making up for their absence, though, and Spoelstra isn't his only supporter.
The 25-year-old has most of Miami in a frenzy following a wild week that included a triple-double and franchise-record 12 blocks last Sunday, and 24 rebounds on Friday.
It's quite the story for the former castoff who signed with the Heat in November after playing in both Lebanon and China last year.
"He continues to surprise me," Bosh said. "He's a talented young fellow. We want to continue to push him and encourage him to play and do well."
Avery Bradley and Tyler Zeller led the Celtics with 17 points apiece, and Brandon Bass had 15. It was Boston's third straight loss and fourth in its last five.
KNICKS 92, LAKERS 80: At New York, Carmelo Anthony scored 18 of his 31 points in the third quarter and the New York Knicks beat the Los Angeles Lakers.
With Kobe Bryant out for the season and both teams among the worst in the NBA, it was anything but a Super Sunday in New York, where the national TV audience that was originally scheduled to see it missed the Lakers shooting 35.5 percent from the field.
Anthony stood out above the ugliness, soaring to dunk an alley-oop pass in the second quarter before turning mostly to his jumper in the third to help New York pull away. He shot 13 of 25 and grabbed eight rebounds.
Langston Galloway added 13 points for the Knicks, who have won five of seven and did it easily, building their first 20-point lead since they were up 21 in a victory over Philadelphia on Nov. 22.
Carlos Boozer had 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Lakers, who lost for the 10th time in 11 games. Jordan Clarkson also scored 19 points.
The Lakers had snapped their nine-game losing streak with a double-overtime victory over Chicago on Thursday but they remain lost on the road, where they fell for the seventh straight time.